Training For Watersports Can Teach You A Lot About Your Character

Training For Watersports Can Teach You A Lot About Your Character

Physical strength, mental attitude, persistence, and commitment.

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Watersports are not easy, and to be successful, you have to be mentally and physically trained. Although wakeboarding, wakesurfing, and waterskiing are three different sports, the way to succeed in them is extremely similar, if not the same. These three sports require tremendous commitment, determination, and persistence when you are first learning. Watersports also entail people who are risk-taking and adventurous because swimming in deep and open waters can at often times scare people.

Since I recently learned how to wakesurf myself, I realized how easy it is to give up and become frustrated with the first few unsuccessful attempts. I learned that the key to success is to keep the mind concentrated and committed to standing up on the board and keeping balance once you are up. While my personal experience progressed, I learned that a few technicalities really show one's character in this sport, including physical strength, mental attitude, persistence, and commitment. These all portray the type of person you are within while practicing watersports.

Regardless of the fact that physical strength is beneficial for one's body and health, it is also an essential factor when playing sports. The strongest player is usually always at an advantage, but a misconception that is often believed is that dependent on the sport, athletes have upper body strength but do not have lower body strength and vice versa. This idea is untrue. No matter the sport, athletes need to be physically strong in all areas. Of course, some sports will require some muscles to be used and trained more than others, but overall, the whole body needs to be strong - especially in watersports.

I learned that in the case of watersports, it is very beneficial when you have a strong core, lower body, and upper body. Having strong legs is definitely necessary for getting up on the board and keeping your balance, but a strong upper body strength also comes into play. When being pulled by the boat, having strong arms is essential in being able to keep a strong grip while an immense amount of pressure from the boat is jolting you away. And lastly, surprisingly or not, having a strong core definitely aids in keeping the proper balance.

Now for those of you who have not realized this yet, mental attitude is everything. Being constantly frustrated and focusing on your failures will only result in harder obstacles and fewer successes. Keeping a positive mindset is very important throughout life. When practicing watersports, especially in the beginning, it is important to keep a positive attitude and remind yourself that anything is possible.

Even though you will fall many times, the sport is not impossible as long as you believe in yourself and keep trying. I learned that those who are ready to keep trying after their falls and reiterate that they want to "go again" are the people who succeed the fastest when they are first learning. These are the people that do not give up, which coincides with the idea of persistence and commitment.

People who start off start off determined and committed to riding - no matter what - are the people who are often the most successful in the sport. When this person has tried over 8-10 times and are not giving up, or when he/she doesn't wait around in the water; instead they quickly ask for the rope so they can try again, or when he/she asks for tips - that's when the person is demonstrating natural commitment and is ambitiously eager to succeed. If these qualities are portrayed while practicing the sport, then it is most likely reflecting the aspiring and enthusiastic character that lives within the person.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Dear Oklahoma, Please Take Care Of Jalen Hurts

He's one of the good ones, we promise.

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Dear Oklahoma fans, coaches, and players, please take care of Jalen Hurts.

When Hurts graduated in December of 2018, everyone in the Alabama fanbase knew that a transfer was coming soon. After showing his distinct character and loyalty to the Alabama Crimson Tide by choosing to play the 2018 season, even though he would be second in line to Tua Tagavailoa, Hurts deserves this chance to make the best decision for himself. The selection process regarding where Hurts would end up this upcoming season was kept relatively private, which of course open the doors to countless predictions from fans and analysts.

However, I can confidently say that I was not the only one shocked at his choice, but I whole-heartedly support it.

Home to two Heisman-winning quarterbacks, Oklahoma is a more than a smart choice on Hurts' behalf. Within that program, he will be given ample opportunity to improve his craft in order to put himself in the best position for a successful career post-college. The Sooners obviously have an incredible program that leads players down the best paths to be as successful as possible, and that is all Alabama fans want for our beloved quarterback.

With all this being said, I, as an Alabama fan, just ask the Oklahoma Sooners to take care of Jalen and realize how special of a player he is.

With Hurts at quarterback, you will never have to question his effort or loyalty to his teammates. He will always carry himself with grace, no matter the situation. If you give him an opportunity to succeed, he will put forth all of his effort in order to take advantage of it.

Jalen Hurts is one of the most special players, and young men, to ever wear an Alabama Crimson Tide uniform. All that we ask is that you support him as we have these past three years.

Roll Tide.

Sincerely,

Every Alabama Fan

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